PSI MAGAZINE COLUMN: JUNE 2015

This month Simon Banks talks to Tim Geddes, Joint Owner of Yeoman Monitoring Services, one of the most successful and long established Alarm Receiving Centres in the UK.

This month Simon Banks talks to Tim Geddes, Joint Owner of Yeoman Monitoring Services, one of the most successful and long established Alarm Receiving Centres in the UK.

Can you give us a snapshot of the industry when you joined 40 years ago?

When I came into the industry, the word ARC was relatively rare; alarm monitoring was perceived as a bolt on service to security guarding functions. I can remember trying to persuade a senior Essex police officer to take alarm monitoring into the Police control rooms - a hugely radical suggestion at that time. Fortunately my business and the success of ARCs in general has thrived due to the Police’s rejection of that opportunity.

What are the most significant changes you’ve seen within that period?

I suppose the real ‘explosion’ in market changes was partly due to the introduction of the digital communicator. It was viewed as a more reliable and cost efficient medium than the more commonplace 999 auto diallers which transmitted directly to the emergency services. The Police decision to eventually ban the use of these, combined with insurers referencing the Standards, accelerated this change.

Prices are being constantly driven down, what do you feel is the long-term solution to this in order to maintain quality of service?

Value for money is an understatement as far as secure ARC monitoring is concerned. Our industry is awash with newcomers who want to reinvent the wheel and in many cases pour massive resource into their projects to eventually find out that the market is actually quite benign. End users know little of ARCs and how complicated the services have become. Luckily technology and innovation has risen to the occasion making ARC reactions more sanitised and largely preset reflex actions. Standards, insurance cover and police requirements are currently the biggest anchors to ensure quality of service is not compromised.

What changes do you predict within the monitoring sector and what impact will they have on Alarm Receiving Centres?

Our world is changing rapidly. The consumer is well informed of the available options, which is already noticeably impacting our market. Thinking out of the box is no longer just a buzz phrase but a realistic business-critical fact. With the prevalence of smart phones, the consumer now has constant access to a powerful computer in their pockets, able to receive complex data instantly. These facilities are the beginning of the revolution of change where the consumer will eventually manage their own data from their alarms, from anywhere in the world. This is, to some extent true for both domestic and commercial markets alike. The ARC industry will have to be much more inventive if we are to keep pace with imminent change. Interesting times I am sure you will agree!

You Said It! 

"Interesting meeting with @CSLDualCom today. Comprehensive advice and excellent demonstration of the DigiAir® UDL."

Tweeted by @AtlasPatrol – Feb 19

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